5 Reasons I love sewing with viscose

When I first started dressmaking it was difficult to understand how different fabrics work with certain garments. 

I always leaned towards beautiful floral cottons which work well for structured skirts and dresses. It was when I wanted something with some drape and float to it that I'd opt for a different type of fabric. 

Crepes, chiffons, even habutai made it into my stash but for all the wrong reasons. I didn't have the right knowledge or experience to understand these fabrics weren't right for me at the time. 

It was only a few years ago I discovered that my favourite dress from H&M is made from viscose. BINGO. My fabric of dreams.

What is viscose? 

Viscose is a type of rayon. It's made from cellulose, the carbohydrate made from plants. Because viscose is made from cellulose, a natural source, it's only a partly man-made fabric. This is more environmentally conscious than a purely synthetic fabric. Viscose fibres are still treated with chemicals but the production method means there is less waste product making it more eco-friendly

My wardrobe is now about 50% viscose, including 100% viscose and viscose/spandex blends. So why do I love working with viscose so much? 

  1. The right amount of structure vs the right amount of drape. I often use viscose for skater style dresses where I need a fitted bodice across my shoulders and bust. With a fitted bodice, I am more than happy to cinch in at the waist and hide my food baby with a bit of flare to the skirt. Viscose is perfect for this!

  2. Easy to work with. Viscose is a lot like cotton in that it's easy to work with. Where viscose is more lightweight than things like a quilting cotton, it is still easy to pin, cut and sew. That's what you want from a project isn't it? Something that won't tear your hair out!

  3. A moderate amount of fray. OK so this one isn't particularly an advantage, but it's definitely a benefit in comparison to other fabrics. Viscose doesn't fray a huge amount. With a bit of fray stop and tidy seams, your innards can be just as beautiful as the outside of your garment.

  4. Value and design. Viscose is easily and widely available at a great cost. You can often get a cheaper viscose for under £5 a meter at most fabric stores. There's a wide range of designs available too which is great for my project ideas. 

  5. Versatility. This is what I love the most about choosing fabric. It's breathable and sturdy. It's also very soft and comfortable to wear. So, it can be turned into a variety of dresses. I've made skater dresses, slimline strap dresses and shift dresses in viscose. I've also used it for shirts and blouses and have found it to be a great coat lining. Thank you viscose! 🙏

Some of my favourite me made pieces are in viscose. These include:

Pattern: McCalls 7080
Fabric: 100% viscose from Fabric Land

Pattern: The Orla Dress by French Navy Now
Fabric: 100% viscose from Fabric Land

Pattern: New Look 6499
Fabric: 100% viscose from Fabric Land

Pattern: Self-drafted but Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress is similar
Fabric: 100% viscose from Fabric Land

Pattern: Colette Patterns Moneta hack (extended bodice)
Fabric: Viscose jersey from Goldhawk Road

See you next time! 

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